(Bloomberg) -- The UK government’s plans to sell shares in NatWest Group Plc to the public are now on hold after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election for July 4, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

Sunak had been widely expected to wait until the autumn — the deadline was January — to allow more time for a cost-of-living crisis to recede before Britons cast their ballots.

UK Government Investments, the Treasury-owned company that holds the stake in NatWest, had previously said it could be ready to proceed with the retail offering as early as June. The government has already hired advisers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc for the work. 

The Treasury remains NatWest’s biggest shareholder after its £46 billion bailout of what was then Royal Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis, though it is no longer considered a controlling shareholder after its ownership of the bank dropped below 30% in March. 

Sky News reported the delay earlier. 


©2024 Bloomberg L.P.